Admit it – We’ve All Wanted to Escape From Our Family on Thanksgiving

Andthg_37 now for something to make me really unpopular . . . I’m going to confess that I don’t get what all the fuss is about regarding having to work on Thanksgiving. Right now, all of my social media newsfeeds are flush with what I’m going to call the “No Work Thanksgiving” movement.

Based on the fervent “likes”, “shares,” and “retweets” one would think working on Thanksgiving is a major societal problem of the 21st century. The thing that really makes me laugh is the sanctimonious chatter about how working on Thanksgiving is “robbing people of family time.” Yeah, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. And in the spirit of full disclosure I’ve worked many Thanksgivings and LOVED it! Like skipping out of the house, loving it. (I also loved the money because I really needed the money.)

Before you think I’m anti family (or anti my family) let’s examine the holiday. It’s not even a religious occasion. I would understand this level of outrage if, indeed, it was a holy day. But it’s a Federal holiday that came about in 1863, when, President Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday in the month of November as a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Okay, I will now concede that sounds religious, but really, how many people go to church on Thanksgiving?

And if you’re going to be angry about a holiday that’s gone full retail where’s the Fourth of July fury? That’s a huge day in American history, but no one cares that Victoria’s Secret dares to cheapen the birthday of this great country of ours with a “Let Freedom Ring” three thongs and a cheekster for $13 sale.

It’s also a day that requires hours of hard culinary labor. Anyone who says they don’t believe people should have to work on Thanksgiving must never have hosted the holiday at their home. Sure, the reward of toiling in the kitchen is grand and glorious. You, for doing all the pre meal prep, cooking and cleaning, get the thank you gift of gazing upon the wonder that is your Uncle T.J. stuffing his face at the speed of light so he resume his prone position on the couch to watch football.

As for the whole “robbing people of family time” argument let’s be honest here. Most of us don’t have fairy tale families where our Thanksgiving is 24-hour extended kin group hug. For a lot of us, a whole day consumed with a cornucopia of relatives, in a confined space, with no chance of escape, is akin to tip toeing barefoot through the hot coals of hell. Add in second cousins, who have been drinking alcohol since 10 a.m. and you have me volunteering to work every holiday. In fact, many times as I have been bolting for the door to get to work my husband has begged, “Please, please, take me with you.”

The “No Work Thanksgiving” moment doesn’t just focus its ire on the merchants that chose to be open on Turkey Day there’s also a heaping helping of disgust for folks who dare to shop on mashed potatoes with gravy Thursday. Lots of time is spent on social media dissing people camped outside a Best Buy to get a “bitching deal” on a TV that’s bigger than most people’s first homes.

Here’s my take on that. If you have a family member (or members) that has chosen standing outside a Best Buy instead of gracing your table for Thanksgiving you should be rejoicing, like Hallelujah chorus rejoicing, because you’ve been saved for spending an entire day with this level of nitwit. In fact, I would go so far as saying you need to write a thank you note to Best Buy for their awesome system of herding and corralling humans that don’t need to be free ranging it on Thanksgiving. It’s like having a babysitter for the ickier part of your family tree.

(Now, just to be fair, I must also defend the Best Buy campers. I’ve been told by some that they have a “great time waiting in line” and that it “beats the hell out of spending the day with family.”)

As for the folks that hit the malls and Target Thanksgiving evening all I have to say is you go girls (and men being forced against their will to Kohl’s for their fleece sale). Two years ago, I interviewed a group of woman, four sisters-in-laws, who were having a blast Target on Thanksgiving night. They didn’t really care about the shopping. For them it was all about taking a break from a surly mother-in-law and husbands who needed to up their game on the kid watching duty. Technically, they were family members spending time together. They just weren’t doing it at a table while passing Great Grandma Eunice’s sweet potato, cornflake, and marshmallow fluff casserole.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

17 thoughts on “Admit it – We’ve All Wanted to Escape From Our Family on Thanksgiving

  1. P.R. says:

    Loved it! Our family Thanksgiving is like a Saturday Night Skit (when SNL was decent). Dysfunction Junction got nothing on us. I always volunteer to play with kids outside to escape the madness.

  2. Katie says:

    You are anti-family! Thanksgiving is about slowing down and savoring family and food. Stores being open is just gross and people who shop all these stupid sales are idiots hell bent on destroying the America I love. You’re a disgrace.

    • thankful says:

      I thought Thanksgiving was about being thankful, whether or not you have family. What about those people who barely have enough food for their children? Would you expect them to sit home not working, losing money because people like you know better and would shut everything down? Get over yourself.

    • Terry Ohlerking says:

      ur such a brilliant conversationalist.. I’m certain your family thoroughly enjoys your witty remarks around the table. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I am so glad you are either part of the ten percent of the population whose family is not dysfunctional, who lives a million miles away and can’t afford to travel, or who is living in a state where pot is legal. Please stop following Snarky if you can’t handle the truth!

  3. Pearl ;) says:

    Again, you speak the truth!!! And, you do it with humor! Thank you for your brutal honesty. I feel the same way about the family members who relish waiting in line to save a buck….let them have at it. Much easier to coverse at a normal volume with those whose company you actually enjoy. Kudos, Snarky!!!

    And some people ^^^^ totally lack a sense of humor.

  4. Beth says:

    Sorry, but why should a non-religious holiday not get the same respect as a religious one? That’s the worst argument in favor of stores being open I’ve ever heard. Thanksgiving is a thankfully nondenominational holiday that most people enjoy, and really ought to get more deference than religious holidays. As far as the hours argument goes, I’ve worked those sorts of jobs and there are plenty of customers in the lead up and certainly in the days after to get all hands on deck and make up any loss. And nobody’s forcing anybody to go spend time with relatives they don’t like. Stay home and take a rest day, clean the house, whatever. The workers who get run ragged and treated like dirt by crazy holiday shoppers deserve a breather day. But American consumerism apparently disagrees. I also find it hugely ironic that it is the big box retailers that “just have to” stay open, and not the mom and pops who actually are struggling in this economy – every locally owned store in my town was closed today. Hell, for that matter, all four McDonalds in my town were closed today – I guess they get the health of the human spirit if not the body.

  5. Beth says:

    Oh, and about the Fourth… It’s an evening holiday to start with, so easier for a lot of people to get to. The fare is usually cheap and easy, so not much need to respect the work that goes into it, nor is it often a sit-down-around-the-table kind of thing. And a lot of years you’ve got to skip watching fireworks ‘cuz you have to go to work the next day and the fireworks don’t start until 9 or 10pm. Not to mention the number of towns that have outlawed fireworks, in some places even professional shows. It just isn’t a holiday that garners the same level of deference that a lot of people feel toward Thanksgiving.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Where is the outrage for our military men and women, are they not working? What about doctors and nurses? Police and Fire? If you don’t want to shop, then don’t. But don’t have a baby, or get injured on the holiday either.

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